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Col Walt Yates

U.S. Marine Corps
PM Training Systems

Col Walt Yates graduated from Texas AM University in 1990 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United Marine Corps. Upon graduation from The Basic School he was assigned to the Field Artillery military occupational specialty and served ashore and deployed afloat in billets including platoon commander an assignment on recruiting duty.

In 2002 Maj Yates began study at the Naval Postgraduate School in the field of Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulations and graduated with a Master of Science in 2004. Maj Yates was assigned to MAGTF Training Command at Twentynine Palms California where he served as the officer in charge of the Battle Simulation Center. In 2007 Maj Yates was assigned to the staff of the Program Manager for Training Systems. In 2008 LtCol Yates served as the Liaison Officer from  Marine Corps Systems Command to the Command Element of Multinational Force-West, Iraq before returning to his duties at PM Training Systems.

In 2011 LtCol Yates was assigned to the System Engineering, Interoperability, Architectures, and Technology directorate at Marine Corps System Command, Quantico Virginia where he was assigned as the Deputy for Modeling and Simulation and the project manager for the Framework for Assessment of Cost and Technology (FACT).

In 2013 LtCol Yates was selected as a Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow at Norfolk Southern Corporation. Following completion of his fellowship he reported to his present assignment as the Marine Corps’ Program Manager for Training Systems in Orlando, Florida where he was promoted to Colonel. Col Yates is DAWIA(Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act) certified at Level III in Information Technology and Level III in Program Management.

Col Yates’ previous assignments in Modeling and Simulation include Officer in Charge of the MAGTF Training command Battle Simulation Center, M&S officer for the Program Manager for Training Systems, Assistant Program Manager for Range Training Aids, Devices and Simulators, and Deputy M&S Lead for Marine Corps System Command.

He is married to the former Miss Charlotte Rawcliffe of Maidenhead, England and has two daughters.

Educational Background

Military Education

The Basic School for Officer, MCB Quantico 1991
Field Artillery Officers Basic Course, Fort Sill Oklahoma 1991
Naval Gunfire Ground Spotters Course, Landing Force Training Command Atlantic 1993
Recruiting Management Course, XDU 1994
Field Artillery Officers Advanced Course, Fort Sill Oklahoma1997
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey California 2004

Professional Background

1990 Commissioned NROTC Texas A&M University
1991-1994 2nd Battalion 10th Marine Regiment 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune North Carolina
1994-1997 Recruiting Station Buffalo New York
1997-1998 5th Battalion 10th Marine Regiment 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune North Carolina
1999-2002 Battery D 2nd Battalion 14th Marine Regiment, El Paso Texas
2002-2004 Naval Postgraduate School
2004-2007 MAGTF Training Command, Twentynine Palms California
2007-2011 Program Manager for Training System staff, Orlando Florida
2011-2013 Deputy Lead for Modeling and Simulation and Project Manager for FACT (Framework for the Assessment of Cost and Technology)

Professional Certifications

DAWIA Level III for Information Systems Acquisition
Defense Acquisition University Level III Program Management academic coursework
ComTIA Security+


Meritorious Service Medal (third award)
Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (third award)


Some Theory on Practice, Marine Corps Gazett 2005
A Moro Realistic Command Post Exercise, Marine Corps Gazett 2006
The Future of Marine Corps Training, PSI Handbook of Virtual Environments for Training and Education Vol III Chapter 34
A Roadmap to Immersive Training, I/ITSEC Proceedings2010
FACT: An M&S Framework for Systems Engineering, I/ITSEC Proceeding 2012
Resident Graduate Education and Talent Management, Marine Corps Gazette 2014

Other Relevant Experience

Defense Acquisition University SAM 301 Software Acquisition Seminar guest lecturer on the impact of DoD Information assurance policy on the acquisition of information technology

Force on Force Modernization Initiatives for NLOS Engagements and Large Scale Exercises

Current Force on Force (FoF) training systems employed by the US Marine Corps are dependent upon laser based technology to adjudicate engagements between a shooter and target. Limitations inherent to first generation systems descended from MILES are still present in the currently fielded generation of FoF systems. Visual occlusion of lasers by vegetation and other objects interferes with the accurate modeling of weapons effects on concealed targets i.e. laser based systems confuse concealment with protective cover. Laser based FoF also suffers from the limitations of the flat path of the laser with the arcing trajectory of projectiles as the distance to the target increases and cannot be used to model the employment of weapons against targets on a reverse slope. Moving targets present a challenge for the currently fielded laser based FoF systems that do not use retro-reflectors (e.g. OSAG 2). While retro-reflectors can provide accurate modeling of ballistics for moving target engagements they cannot address the limitations of engaging targets on the reverse slope. In CQB (close quarters battle) situation where the shooter and target may be within the same room the beam of the laser aimed at center-mass of the target may not be registered by the laser sensors. The US Marine Corps is developing requirements and identifying technologies that will move beyond reliance upon lasers to enable FoF engagement simulation systems. These requirements include exercises with 2500 instrumented entities disbursed tactically over irregular terrain and vegetation. FoF exercises on this scale will require reliable and resilient wireless communication across terrain where no terrestrial repeaters can be emplaced because it is inside the surface danger zone of ordnance. Particularly in austere locations such as the Mojave Desert the lack of electrical power distribution systems on the ranges poses an additional challenge. The constraints placed on desired FoF training capability by terrain and austere environment points to the necessity of technology to provide mobile range wireless infrastructure as an enabling technology. Technology to provide mobile wireless infrastructure is maturing quickly in the commercial sector and may provide useful capability not only for training applications but also operational uses. Business case analyses are presently underway to determine what advantages may be available from investment in mobile wireless infrastructure.